LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Second Harvest Food Bank said its summer feeding programs did not reach as many children as officials hoped. Food bank officials are now looking to government leaders to help make a change.
Starting August 8, the food bank will begin feeding 3,000 kids a day during after school meal programs.Crucial programs food bank officials said ensure children don't go hungry.
"We definitely have the need in the area," said Second Harvest Food Bank marketing director Eliza McCall.
Second Harvest Food Bank tried to roll out a similar program throughout the summer. While it was successful in feeding roughly 1,600 children a week, officials say that's nothing compared to the 60,000 children eligible for the summer feeding program.
"There definitely was a disconnect between the number of kids we were feeding and the number of kids that need the food assistance," explained McCall.
As the current federal nutrition legislation stands, during the summer children must go to one of the 8 feeding sites to get food. They also have to eat each meal there, no food can leave the site. Food bank officials said this requirement can cause a major problem for families.
"Transportation is an enormous barrier to people receiving the food assistance that they need," explained McCall, "It's not that they don't know the programs are there, it's that they can't get their kids to them."
South Georgia ranks the third highest in the nation, and highest in the state of Georgia, for food insecurity. So, officials said they need legislation that allows more flexibility.
"We need to be able to meet these children and feed them where they are," urged McCall, "not make them come to us."
Food bank officials urge local families to contact local leaders to push for a change.